Monday, July 30, 2012

Bridal Shower

This post isn't anything I crafted or designed, but all the works of my lovely sister & mom. (Of course with lots of helps from bridesmaids and friends too!) Because I love to craft I really appreciate how much time, effort, and love are put into homemade events. I was completely overwhelmed by all of the details at this shower - it was such an incredible afternoon! :)

When I walked in, the first thing I noticed was the garland made out of doilies. We had leftover from making Paper Mache Letters and they made an adorable garland! All it was made out of was twine with doilies folded in half and glued. It was held in the ceiling with clear push pins. (Which work on the kind of ceiling we have.)

Next was the guestbook. Normally I'm not a fan of guestbooks because I don't think you'll look at them again - and I think my mom and sister knew that which is why they came up with this super cute idea:


My sister hand carved out stamps in the shapes of different birds and each girl stamped a bird onto the canvas my mom had painted. This is what the finished product looked like:


The food is next! So many people helped and contributed and I was so honored to see plates and plates of gorgeous appetizers. (I am working on finding the recipes to link each photo to!)

Buffalo Chicken Dip
Miniature Banana Parfaits
Pie Pops
Southwest Eggrolls
And of course, all of the little details. Like the framed engagement picture and the little white bicycle below:

The mantle of the fireplace was decorated with a picture my mom painted me for our new apartment, hanging miniature lanterns, and a banner made of grey paint samples from the Bridesmaid Gifts. 

They also spent hours making paper flowers to make a garland for around the windows. My sister created a pattern and then they cut out each individual flower and layered them together:
Below the paper flowers you can also see the fabric strips they tied together to make a garland as well.

One of my favorite items to keep were a set of pillows my mom made. She bought two basic ivory pillows and used grey burlap and black paint to create the Mr. and Mrs.  She then pinned the burlap to the pillows with giant close-pins so I can keep them on or have the plain pillows in the future.

The last part is the game! Now, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't nervous that we'd have to play some silly revealing game - but I knew my sister knows me really well. I was so surprised and really enjoyed the game she put together for everyone.  She came up with abut 15 questions and emailed them all to my fiance asking for video responses to the questions. He was traveling in Alaska at the time so it made the videos even more cool. Some were in his brightly lit hotel room at 4:00am East Coast time, others were on a mountain or just outside. They then video-taped my responses to the questions so I will have everything forever. 

Below is one of my favorite responses, I'm not putting some of my other favorites on because they reveal too many secrets!! Those of you who were in attendance know what I am talking about.....maybe soon I will post the rest depending on if people ask for them!

Here is video response for Question #2 What is my favorite food? (It should shed a little light onto why this blog is titled what it is and why we have three different pancake griddles on our wedding registry....sigh.....)

I had such a great time and am so glad to be surrounded by all of these gracious people who spend so much time helping to make this day so special!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Bridesmaid Gifts

This was one of the first projects I started working on and had a lot of fun with. I have eight precious bridesmaids and I wanted them to know how much I care about them and appreciate that they are in my life! Most of this is a compilation of Esty purchases and Pinterest ideas with a little bit of my own touch. The first thing I did was order wedding hangers with each bridesmaid's name in wire from the Etsy shop Whiskey & Wedding Bells. Brianna was really great, she had them completed super fast and packaged and shipped very securely. Maybe one day I will learn to make them myself, but hers were perfect.

Next I ordered the grey and white striped robes seen in the picture from Aerie. Normally I don't shop at Aerie, but they were having a huge blowout sale and I had a coupon/points from shopping at AE awhile back. Then, I had the robes monogrammed by a local embroidery shop.

Then it was time to add in the final letter and finishing touches. I love to scrapbook so making the letter was a lot of fun. I picked out scrapbook papers that matched the wedding:

From there I created a two sided letter that on the front asked them to be a bridesmaid and on the back detailed their dress specifications. The only stipulation was that it needed to be long and a shade of grey.

To show them the exact color greys I was thinking I went to Home Depot and ....borrowed....about 18 different paint samples and included them in the letter. To keep it all together I used a 12x12 scrapbook paper page protector, cut it in half and slid the letter and paint samples in. Later, my sister and mom used the grey paint samples to make a pennant banner at my shower which was really cute! Below is a picture of us and the paint chip banner behind:

Anyway, then the last thing I did was buy a wooden heart at Michael's and paint it with the date.  The entire package looked like this: 


DIY Swirl Paper Flowers

So these paper flowers are my absolute favorite thing I have made so far. I saw the same set of directions on many different blogs and websites about creating flowers out of a simple swirl drawn on paper. Here are my few suggestions and at the end I'll show you 10 of the 1000 places I have used these flowers :).

First, it really is this simple. You draw a swirl on a piece of paper and cut it out. The bigger your swirl, the bigger your flower. If you use an entire 8.5x11" piece of paper your flower will come out to be approximately 2.5-3" in diameter. Here are the sizes I have drawn:

The swirl to the far right is almost an entire sheet of 8.5x11" paper, the two in the middle are also pictured below they take up about half of an 8.5x11" sheet. You can tell by scale how small the littlest guy is on the left.

Like I mentioned earlier, the largest swirl will create a flower that is about 2.5-3" in diameter.  The middle swirls will create a flower that is about 1.5" in diameter and the smallest swirl will make a flower that is less than an inch in diameter.

The second tip is that depending on how wide your swirl is, the flower will look very differently. The petals will be as tall as the swirl is wide. So, in the picture below the swirl on the left will be a very flat flower and the swirl on the right will turn into a taller flower with more dimension. I used a combination of both of these, however the wider swirl is MUCH easier to cut.

Thin                                             Wide
 The last tip is that the direction of the swirl does matter. You will drive yourself crazy if you draw the swirl the "wrong" way. Pictured below is the best way I can thing to show you how to make the swirl, assuming you are right handed (if you're a leftie just reverse it.) This way, when you cut the swirls it will be much easier to cut. 

The next step is to cut out the swirl.  Once you are done it should look like this: 

 Then, place the swirl with the pencil markings down and begin to roll the edge towards you: 

Keep rolling.......

Now grab the rolled paper and leave a bit remaining at the end and use your glue gun to place a generous amount of glue where I have drawn the pink X. Keep one finger on top of the flower like shown below and press down onto the glue and hold for a few seconds.
If you'd like you can let the flower loosen in your hand if you'd like it to be bigger and not have such a tight swirl in the center. I let the flower loosen completely and then glued down and here is how it turned out:

They are a bit time consuming to make, but once you get the hang of it it's not that bad! Here are some more pictures of what I have used the flowers for:

Chalkboard Sign
Chalkboard Frame

Engagement Photo Shoot, Pinterest Inspired

We have absolutely fabulous wedding photographers and they encouraged us to think of something unique to bring to our engagement photo shoot. A few weeks prior I emailed and told them about a pin I had seen on Pinterest for DIY Non-Electric Lanterns. The blog it led me to, "Peace of Cake" had one sentence of instructions: break open glow sticks, dump them into an empty jar, close the lid and shake. I had to try it.

Here is the picture that caught my eye:

Once we realized with our work schedules we would really only be able to take our engagement photos at night, I thought these were the perfect inspiration. I tried one out at home and it really is as easy as this blog says, cut open a glue stick - empty into the jar and shake up. I bought 10 packs at Michael's in their dollar aisle. They don't advertise that they sell them on their website, but in their dollar aisle - which might I add is now the $1.50 aisle - they have packs of 12 for $1.50. In the pack are four colors: hot pink, yellow, blue and green. After testing them out, all of the colors looked great - but we used only yellow, blue and green for our shoot.

I used mason jars (also from Michael's) and tied the lids with burlap string so we could hang them if necessary. Then once we were at the site we starting cutting the glow sticks, dumping them in and hanging them all over trees.  In order to make them glow as bright as we did we put two and sometimes three glow sticks in each jar.

My only complaint about these are that they only last about an hour (max!).  If you freeze them they do last a bit longer - upwards of three hours - but that wasn't an option for us since we were coming from work. 

You can easily wash out the glow stick material from the jars and re-use them, and any glow-stick juice that gets on your clothes doesn't stain! 

Our photographer was phenomenal and knew the perfect spot and time these would look like magic. Make sure to check out their blog:C & I Photographers. The link to our full engagement photo session is here.  Here are how our pictures turned out: